Class of 2015

Inducted by Sixx

Some people remember Lita as a valet for the Hardy Boyz. Others remember her as one of the most innovative women’s wrestlers in history. Still more remember her standing by Edge’s side when he made the jump from star to superstar. I remember her as all of these things and more.

I first became aware of Lita during her time in ECW as Miss Congeniality and Angelica. I’d love to tell you that I saw potential there and I knew what she would become later, but it would be a lie. She struck me as just another woman that ECW was trying to get over due solely to her sexuality. I feel comfortable in saying that, had she not showed up in WWF/E later, she would have been largely forgettable to me. She had her moments in ECW, but no more than Elektra or any other woman who cut her teeth in ECW only to be largely forgotten later.

Where her story begins to diverge from the rest is when Dory Funk Jr. takes notice and invites her to the Funkin’ Conservatory to train. As the only woman in a class of 24, she impressed Dory Jr. enough for him to personally send a highlight tape of her work to WWF/E. The rest, as they say, is history.

She was signed in late 1999, and spent a few months in Memphis Championship Wrestling, honing her skills and awaiting her main roster debut. In February of 2000, she debuted alongside Essa Rios as he won the Light Heavyweight Championship from Gillberg. It was during this pairing where her ability started to shine, as she would regularly use hurricanranas and moonsaults during Rios’ matches. The two would have a forgettable feud with the late Eddie Guerrero and Chyna, but it was what would follow that feud which set her up for superstardom. When Rios turned on Lita, she allied with the Hardy Boyz, which set the stage for the rest of her career.

Now, from this point forward, Lita’s career arc is pretty much common knowledge, so I won’t bore you with it here. I just wanted to establish the fact that she did things before she was associated with the Hardys. In honor of her induction to the LoP Hall of Fame, I’ve decided to share the two moments from her career that stand out to me and made me a fan.

1. August 21, 2000 Lita Wins Her First Women’s Championship

This was not a classic match. It wasn’t even particularly good. It is notable for several reasons, however. First of all, it was the culmination of her feud with Stephanie McMahon Helmsley. Steph, as a leader of the McMahon-Helmsley faction, had been Women’s Champion for some time. For Lita to be the person to end that reign was huge. As an extension of the McMahon-Helmsley storyline, the bout featured interference from both Kurt Angle and Triple H, and had The Rock as the special guest referee. For Lita to be featured in such a high profile spot barely 6 months into her WWF/E career was a huge sign of things to come for her.

2. December 6, 2004 The Greatest Women’s Match of All Time

Lita vs. Trish. Main event of Raw. Lita damn near kills herself. Keeps going. Truly amazing match that mere words can’t do justice to. If you haven’t seen the match, look it up on YouTube or the Network or wherever else you can find it. You’ll thank me when you’re done.

Lita can’t just be described as a women’s wrestler. Hell, she can’t just be described as a wrestler. Lita was a game changer. Lita’s style and athleticism forever changed the face of women’s wrestling in WWF/E. Along with Trish Stratus, by far her greatest rival, she dragged women’s wrestling in the big leagues from a joke to something that could main event Raw without question. As such, I am beyond proud that Lita is being inducted into the LoP Hall of Fame. She deserves it as much, if not more, than anyone.

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